Watch the moment building earmarked for demolition collapses in Stevenage town centre

  • Watch the moment Swingate House in Stevenage collapsed into the street below captured by the 'Construction Enquirer'

The moment a derelict building collapsed into a busy town centre street, narrowly missing a passing car, has been captured on video.

Debris from the six-storey Swingate House in Stevenage - which had been earmarked for demolition - fell into the street below on Tuesday morning.

Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service was called to the scene and used thermal imaging cameras to search the building, which was empty at the time of collapse, along with sniffer dogs.

Stevenage Borough Council said nothing was found in the search and no-one was injured.

Sharon Taylor, Leader of Stevenage Borough Council said: "We're trying to get the site safe as quickly as possible and get the rest of the building down quickly and get all the debris out of the way."

"We're very optimistic that once this piece of demolition work is finished we'll be able to get the road open again possibly over the weekend or early next week, giving people access to all the car parks and so on."

Swingate House is a short walk from the main busy shopping area in Stevenage town centre.

The building 'Swingate House' was close to a busy shopping area in Stevenage. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Video of the building crashing down has been obtained by the industry publication Construction Enquirer.

Surrounding roads were closed after the collapse, with the town's MP now demanding answers as to what caused it.

Posting on social media, the MP for Stevenage, Stephen McPartland said the Health & Safety Executive was now assessing the damage.

Stevenage Borough Council said initial works were under way to make the site safe, but that it expects "there will be disruption over the coming days."

A spokesman said the council was "continuing to assess the situation at Swingate House" and asked people to stay away from the area.

  • Watch an interview with Sharon Taylor, Leader of Stevenage Borough Council

"For those visiting the town centre, please be aware that the Westgate car park is closed and we advise to park in The Forum, Southgate or St George’s Way."

The regeneration project is a joint venture partnership between Mace Group and Stevenage Borough Council with the work on Swingate House sub-contracted out to the Kane Group.

A spokesperson for Mace said: "We have been working closely with our principal contractor, the Health and Safety Executive, the Council’s response team and the emergency services to assess the situation and secure the site.

“We are pleased to confirm that no one was injured, and we’d like to thank the emergency services and the council for their assistance managing the incident. We’ll be supporting the HSE fully with their investigation into what happened.”

The demolition of Swingate House is part of a 20-year £1bn regeneration scheme for the town centre.

Most of the site for the proposed regeneration plan is within the ownership of Stevenage Borough Council.

Architect impression of part of the regeneration project for Stevenage town centre. Credit: Stevenage Borough Council.

Plans for the regeneration were submitted in January 2020 and include more than 1,800 homes and a new public square and park.

The designs are inspired by Stevenage's heritage as one of the first post-war New Towns.